Founded in 1995, the DNA Diagnostics Center offers its brand of HomeDNA at-home testing products and services. Tests are available for ancestry, health and wellness, and even pets. The Ohio lab processes more than 1 million samples each year. In 20 years, the company has handled more than 10 million DNA samples from over 160 countries.
DNA testing kits can be purchased either at the store or online (some are only available via one of the other). The DNA collection kit requires a painless cheek swab that you will need to mail back to the lab via a prepaid mailer. Wait times vary based on the type of test you choose. Once your results are ready, you will be notified via email.
Keep reading our HomeDNA review to learn more about the pros and cons of HomeDNA, its tests, and policies.
While other companies offer autosomal ancestry DNA testing that provides an ethnicity estimate of your individual makeup, the HomeDNA GPS origins test is a little different. The test views human populations differently. It considers everyone's DNA as a mixture of different gene pool origins. These gene pools represent the geographical locations of your DNA throughout generations.
Autosomal DNA breaks your signature into two primary components. Because it's autosomal DNA and not DNA from your sex chromosomes, this split is roughly corresponding to a paternal and maternal side of your DNA, but not always. The Autosomal DNA test will calculate migration routes in these two sections and uses circular representation for higher confidence with larger circles for lower confidence.
These geographical maps represent actual locations where your ancestors stayed and had babies, mixing their DNA with local inhabitants' DNA. It's basically showing where the original ancestors moved and mixed their DNA with local people through intermarriage.
The test also uses specific mutations in your DNA to pinpoint recent migration events and tries to explain what motivation would have led people to move from point A to B.
The GPS Origins algorithm was developed by the University of Sheffield in 2016. The research team was led by Dr. Eran Elhaik, who helped with an early version of National Geographic's Geno 2.0 test.
HomeDNA offers a variety of DNA test kit options that can uncover genetic information about you and even your pets. The DNA testing company has six different Ancestry tests while other DNA companies usually have one or two options. The DNA tests fall under four different categories: ancestry, health and beauty, paternity, and pet screening. Understanding the purpose and results of each of the different tests will help you determine which kit to buy.
HomeDNA provides at-home paternity testing. The paternity test requires a DNA sample from the mother, father, and child. While the test itself may seem rather inexpensive, the test does not include an additional lab fee that costs over $100. You will need to pay the additional fee when you register your kit online. The HomeDNA paternity test is only available in brick and mortar stores. This DNA paternity test only takes about two days to process once the sample arrives at the lab. The HomeDNA Paternity Test cannot be used in a court of law because the test could be easily manipulated without proper supervision.
HomeDNA also provides health screening tests for dogs and cats, as well as a test to identify your mixed-breed dog's actual breeds. A pet DNA test about three weeks to process.
Sample reports are available under some of the product descriptions on the HomeDNA website. In the overview section, you can view a pdf version of the sample report. This is a great way to evaluate whether or not the results will give you the type of information you are seeking. You can also view frequently asked questions about each of the products.
DNA tests get free shipping. Once you collect your DNA sample, return shipping is also free, with a prepaid shipping package included in your purchase.
Some HomeDNA tests are available from drug stores and retail distributors. Stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart carry HomeDNA test kits. You can pick up your test from the store and mail your samples to the lab. The store availability shortens the DNA testing process by eliminating initial shipping wait times.
HomeDNA uses an easy cheek swab sample method. If for any reason your sample does not contain enough cheek cells, the company will let you know. You will have the opportunity to submit a new sample for free.
The DNA Diagnostics Center works with the Innocence Project. It has helped exonerate seven people that were wrongly convicted and in prison for more than 20 years.
When your test has been processed, your raw DNA data is saved and accessible in your account.
HomeDNA destroys samples upon request rather than storing it forever. People concerned with DNA privacy will probably be happy to know that the company destroys samples. Not all DNA testing companies offer to destroy your DNA sample.
People who have taken DNA tests through other big companies can upload for $39:
However, more recent versions of 23andMe or FamilyTree DNA later versions are not accepted, because the data export will not work properly
People who take GPS Origins tests can download raw DNA data to upload to other sites and algorithm analysis.
The website mentions a regular test, an African Test, and an Asian test. A call to customer service revealed they are all the same test, with the same reference panels, gene pools, and potential results.
The Asian and African ones are there to help people who are specifically searching for African or Asian Ancestry-type tests. Out of the standard 41 gene pools tested for, 11 gene pools are tied to the continent of Africa and 17 have ties to Asia.
Although they are all the same test (testing for the same markers for the same price), the company just wants shoppers to know that people with Asian and African ancestry will be well-served with this test.
Compared to other DNA testing companies, HomeDNA charges an above average price for many of its products. The company does not offer any bundling options to receive ancestry and health results. You are required to buy products separately which can quickly add up with the purchase of one to two tests.
HomeDNA does not offer a family tree or relative finder service with its Ancestry test. Other DNA testing companies such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe provide these services along with maps showing basic migration patterns. These companies also update their results and send you new relative matches as their databases expand. If you are interested in learning more about your family tree or connecting with relatives, you should consider choosing a different DNA testing company.
Some of the company's DNA testing services are not available in New York or Maryland. This is often the case for health screening and risk factor tests. Different states have their own rules about this type of testing.
Some of HomeDNA's testing Kits are available only through retail stores, while others are only available for purchase online.
When you buy a DNA test from home DNA, your results can be presented differently depending on the test you take. Some tests will provide a digital PDF that's personalized with your test details. Others have an interactive online experience rather than an easily printable PDF.
If you are looking for hard copy results or access to digital interactive results, be sure you check which comes with the test you are thinking of purchasing.
Best Company has not received enough HomeDNA reviews to make a final recommendation. Customers should consider choosing a different DNA testing company with an established customer recommendation.
Diane Hoenes Spring, TX
1 year ago